Jason Emerson, editor of the Cazenovia Republican, recently received a third place award for in-depth reporting in the New York State Press Association 2012 Better Newspaper Contest.
Emerson’s series of articles, written for the Skaneateles Press while he was the editor, focused on a proposed 100-acre medical complex development project by Victory Sports Medicine and Orthopedics just east of the village of Skaneateles — and all the public controversy that ensued.
Emerson’s articles were based on a two-and-a-half-hour interview with VSM owner Dr. Marc Pietropaoli and COO Lance Wardell, an examination of the entire four years of planning board records for the VSM project and attendance at all Skaneateles village and town municipal board meetings at which the topic was discussed. Emerson’s exposure of an apparent conflict of interest over the project by a town planning board member led to that member’s recusal from all VSM project discussions and votes.
The award judges, who were members of the North Carolina State Press Association, stated of Emerson’s entry, “What begins with routine meeting coverage of a contentious issue evolves into several in-depth articles built upon long interviews and examination of public records. A reminder that covering meetings isn’t usually enough.”
Emerson received a certificate for his award at the April 6 NYPA spring convention and trade show.
"I'm very proud of Jason and the award he earned from the New York Press Association. It's well-deserved, and indicative of the type of work he does each week for Eagle Newspapers," said Publisher David Tyler.
The NYPA annual contest has been ongoing since 1930 and is designed to measure papers of similar size against one another in categories such as news, photography, and advertising. This year’s contest received more than 2,300 entries from 150 newspapers.
The Skaneateles Press, which has a circulation of approximately 5,500, competed in the Division I category for newspapers of circulation 30,000 or less.
This is Emerson’s second NYPA award in two years. In the 2011 contest he won third place in editorial writing.